Monday, February 27, 2006

Ezra Levant

The cartoon aftermath

The response from our readership and the general public could not be called a frenzy -- but it was large. Our magazine had four people answering our phones non-stop for a week. To our delight, the calls were more than 10 to one in our favour. We sold several hundred new subscriptions, which more than made up for the handful of newsstands that refused to carry that issue. I must have been copied on at least a 100 angry e-mails to Chapters/Indigo, criticizing them for censoring our magazine. Just as we have freedom of the press, Chapters has freedom of association and freedom of contract -- they have no obligation to carry our magazine. But they certainly paid a price for their decision amongst their customers, who saw the ban as a slap in the face to their freedom to read.

Perhaps the most interesting development over the course of the week was the number of "off the record" phone calls and e-mails I received from other columnists, reporters and even editors and producers who supported our decision to publish, even though their own media companies didn't.